Select Board Meeting Minutes 01/09/2018

Town of Otis

Select Board Meeting Minutes

January 9, 2018


Meeting called to order at 7:00 pm in the Town Hall conference room.  It’s being recorded and a quorum is present.


Present:           Select Board Chair Bill Hiller, Selectman Gary Thomas, Selectman Don Hawley, Town Counsel Jeremia Pollard, Town Administrator Becky Stone, Jim Crandall, Jack Conboy, Kevin Conboy, Bill Holland, Linda Nolau, Ryen Nolau, Kathy Carroll, Patricia Richard, Roberta Sarnacki, Larry Gould, Thom Garvey, Diane Provenz, Sonia Morrison Kobrin, Tom Ragusa, Michael Ernst


Approval of Minutes:  Approval of the December 12, 2017 Select Board meeting minutes and the December 20, 2017 Town Administrator Interview minutes were unanimously approved as written.  The December 12, 2017 Select Board Executive Session meeting minutes were approved by Don and Gary with Bill abstaining.


St. Paul’s Church Discussion:  Jeremia has been in contact with the attorneys representing several of the selling parties for this church.  Because the owner stated on the deed is no longer in existence and there is no record of subsequent owner transfer, clear title to the church seems to be a problem.  Jeremia asked the Select Board if they were willing to undergo adjudication action to quiet title.  The costs for this would amount to a rough estimate of $5000, but per the MA Anti-Aide Amendment, the town being a municipality is prevented from paying any of these costs.  Quiet title will meet the “marketable and insurable title” requirement voted on at the May 2017 Annual Town Meeting.  Don stated it was definitely the desire of the Select Board and the will of the townspeople to own the church.  Bill, Gary, and Don unanimously voted to have Jeremia pursue quiet title and get the other parties to contribute to the cost since the town cannot by law.  Members of the Historical Commission reported that the engineering report on the church is due soon and Clark and Green believes the building can be preserved.


Private Roads becoming Town Roads:  Mr. Holland, who lives on a private road, asked what would be involved to accomplish this.  Jeremia stated this was a very complicated process and he has not seen success with this.  Jeremia stated the first process would be to submit an engineered design of the road to the Planning Board.  The engineered design cannot be completed until the private road is brought up to current Highway Department specifications and this would probably involve the need to take some road frontage from each of the landowners in order to meet this requirement.  The landowners would then have to pay for the engineered design.  Once this is presented to the Planning Board, they have to accept the road design as a public way before this can move forward.  If the Planning Board approves this as a public way then it has to go before a town vote and pass before a road can be declared a town road.  Don Hawley stated that in his 20 years on the Select Board he has never seen a vote on this in Otis.  Jeremia then referred to Deuce vs. Town of Hancock as a case example for reference.


Transfer Station Rules and Regulations:  Jim provided the Select Board a copy of the current Rules and Regulations and discussed possible changes with them at the meeting.  After discussion, it was decided Tire Disposal would increase from $2.00 per tire to $3.00 per tire, Bulky Waste Material and White Goods will remain at $5.00 per piece.  Also, Transfer Station holiday hours will always follow the Town Hall holiday schedule.


Assistant Sanitation Inspector:  Kevin needs a town affiliation in order to take certain classes so Jack asked if Kevin could shadow Jack as Assistant Sanitation Inspector.  The Board noted that Kevin could not sign anything or make any recommendations without certification and this appointment probably would not work.  The Board agreed to draft a letter stating Kevin was working as an unpaid intern for the town.  He could shadow Jack, and track his hours, and the town would keep that information on file.  Becky will look into nonpaid intern status with a town.


Booking Rooms at Town Hall:  It was noted that an organization that had booked the gymnasium for use, had rescheduled their location because the Rec Center had contacted them to do so.  It was reiterated that all Town Hall rooms are assigned through Lisa only and are assigned on a first come, first served basis.  If there is any conflict, the conflict will be resolved through Lisa.




School Choice Week Proclamation:  Lisa had drafted a proclamation for signing in case the Board decided to do so.  Roberta pointed out that this proclamation would encourage Otis students to tuition out and that is why we had not supported this proclamation in the past.  The Select Board unanimously agreed to not support the proclamation again.


Town Administrator Contract:  Final revisions had been made and everyone formally signed the contract.


Wind Turbine:  The turbine began spinning today for two hours.  It is planned to operate for eight hours tomorrow, and we will be running from 7am to 5pm daily until Eversource is satisfied we have completed the 300 hour break-in period.



The regular Select Board meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:25 pm.



Respectfully Submitted,

Lisa D’Orazio

Selectmen’s Secretary

Town of Otis




List of Documents


  1. A copy of the existing Transfer Station Rules and Regulations will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the compiled table of the monies coming in and going out for certain costs will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the annual Tire Disposal costs will be filed with these meeting minutes.


  1. A copy of the email requesting the School Choice Proclamation will be filed with these meeting minutes.